Anyone that knows my politics understands that I consider myself pro-life; however, as I have written often, I also recognize that millions of Americans feel differently than I do and that we must continue to respect each other as Americans even though we share this fundamental difference of opinion.
But today I am deeply concerned about the use of tax dollars to fund elective abortions.
Earlier this week, the House Budget Committee narrowly defeated the inclusion of language from the Stupak-Pitts amendment in the health-care reconciliation bill. That language, drafted by Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak of Michigan, would have effectively prevented any use of federal funds for abortion in the package of "fixes" being considered for the Senate bill.
In November 2009, pro-life members of both parties were able to defeat the misleading Capps amendment to the final House bill, which would have allowed federal funding of elective abortions through a loophole regarding direct funds. This was yet another progressive, Liberal trick to use our hard-earned tax dollars to support elective abortions and more federal mandates on an issue that pro-choice folks ironically say is a matter of private reflection rather than government control.
The Stupak-Pitts amendment replaced the Capps amendment, but the language of the Senate bill -- the bill House members were being asked to accept through the ambiguous "reconciliation" process -- undoes many of the strides made by Bart Stupak. It, in fact, offers little more protection than the Hyde amendment, a temporary law attached to the budget which could be thrown out during any year and which too many insurers and pro-choice legislators have already figured out how to dance nimbly around.
It is imperative that Americans from across the nation let their representatives know that regardless of their position on the issue of life versus choice, it is entirely inappropriate for our tax dollars to be used to pay for these procedures.
We've had decades of debate over abortion, and we are likely to see decades more. In our courtrooms and legislative chambers, this heated issue has far to go, and we must see that debate through.
But what we cannot, must not, debate or tolerate for one single moment is the spending of our federal tax dollars to subsidize purely elective abortions. In that, the question is no longer a matter of an individual's choice but about the full involvement of society. I am not alone in my staunch objection. In fact, the overwhelming majority of Americans clearly support this position.
A recent poll taken by Quinnipiac University showed that voters oppose public money in the health-care bill to pay for abortions by 67 percent to 27 percent. Other polls have consistently shown a majority of Americans opposing federal health care dollars for elective abortions. These Americans, all 67 percent of them, need to have their voices heard now, or it will be too late.
While I do see this as a matter of life and death, I also see it is a matter of an increasingly intrusive federal government that is forcing a nation that is divided on the issue of abortion to use our collective monies to pay for them.
This is no small matter, and no small majority. Given the opposition Democrats were already facing from the American public with their efforts to ram this health-care legislation down our throats, I find it even more amazing that they seem content to move forward with elements that would expand health coverage to women seeking elective abortions.
This is stupid politics. This is bad governance. This is immoral.
Mike Reagan, the elder son of the late President Ronald Reagan, is spokesperson for The Reagan Nation and chairman and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. E-mail comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com.